Captura da atenção por estímulos emocionais

August 10, 2017 | Autor: Leticia Oliveira | Categoria: Emotion, Attention, Reaction Time
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In the present study, we investigated whether emotional pictures, presented as distractors, interfere in the performance of a competing neutral task. The participants had to discriminate the orientation of two bars presented bilaterally in the periphery (similar or dissimilar). Task difficulty was determined by the differences in orientation between the bars: the smallest orientation differences were used in the hardest task. Simultaneously, either neutral (people) or unpleasant (mutilated) pictures were presented centrally between the two bars. We observed that negative pictures interfere in the performance even in the harder task - the more attention demanding one. When the recognition of those pictures was tested, an advantage for the negative pictures was observed. These results showed that emotional stimuli are still processed even when the attentional load of a concurrent task is high. It is possible that those stimuli are potent drivers of privileged processing and can not be easily ignored.
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